Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was written by Becky Albertalli and first published in 2015. It is a work of contemporary fiction that focuses on a gay teenager as he comes out to his friends and family. The novel stands alone, so you don’t have to have read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it. A film adaptation of the story titled Love, Simon is due to be released next month.

Simon Spier has known that he was gay for some time and is okay with that. Although he’s not sure how to tell the people around him, he has managed to find support from Blue. Simon first met Blue on the school tumblr page and the two have grown close through their email correspondence. Simon knows that Blue goes to his school and is the same age as him but, other than that, has no idea who he is.

Yet their growing relationship may be in danger. When Simon forgets to log out of his email account on a library computer, someone else learns his secret. Martin is considered to be a bit of joke around the school but does have a crush on Simon’s friend, Abby. All Martin wants is for Simon to set the two of them up. While Simon wants to brush him off, he is backed into a corner when Martin hints that he has taken a screenshot of the emails. Simon knows that Blue is very private about his sexuality. If Martin was to tell anyone, it could ruin their friendship forever.

Simon enters the most difficult few months of his life. Everything feels complicated and he doesn’t know what he will do if his secret gets out. He is changing fast and he’s not sure how he feels about the person he is becoming. The only thing he is certain about is his feelings for Blue. If only he could find out who his mysterious messenger really is…


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and first published in 2012. It is a coming of age novel which focuses on the friendship between two Mexican-American teenage boys. Since release, the novel has been nominated for many awards and won the 2013 Stonewall Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, the 2013 Michael L Printz Award, the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s and Young Adult Literature and the 2013 Pura Belpré Award for Narrative.

Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is a troubled teenager. It’s not that he tries to be bad but he just doesn’t fit in. He prefers to keep himself to himself and doesn’t make any effort to socialise with the other boys his age. Everything changes when he meets Dante Quintana. Dante is everything that he’s not. He’s out-going and intelligent and not afraid to show his feelings. The two of them quickly bond over swimming and the fact that they both have ridiculous names.

Through his friendship with Dante, Ari confronts the issues that plague his home life. His brother Bernado is in prison but he doesn’t know why as talking about him in the house is a taboo subject. He also has a poor relationship with his father – a Vietnamese War veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress – and longs to be able to discuss his feelings with him.

Gradually, Ari begins to work out the issues in his personal life and discover the kind of man that he wants to be. However, when a serious accident puts a strain on their friendship, both Ari and Dante must rely on their bond in order to pull through and come out stronger than ever.


The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post was first published in 2012 and is the debut novel of Emily M Danforth. It is a coming-of-age story that is set in the early 90s and follows a teenage girl as she grows up in rural Montana. The novel was nominated for the William C Morris YA Debut Award in 2013 and quickly gained a great deal of critical acclaim among both teen and adult readers.

Cameron Post is twelve years old when she first kisses a girl. After her parents die suddenly in a car crash the following day, she immediately feels guilty. Although no one has ever told her that homosexuality is wrong, she knows that it is not something that is generally accepted in her community and it seems to her as if the deaths are some kind of divine punishment.

Over the next few years, Cameron gradually begins to discover her sexuality through encounters with like-minded girls. Although she now lives with her ultra-conservative Aunt Ruth and old-fashioned grandmother, she becomes very adept at hiding her preferences from them in order to better blend in. However, things change when she finds herself drawn to the beautiful Coley Taylor.

When Cameron’s intense friendship blossoms into something more, Aunt Ruth soon discovers that her niece is a lesbian. Viewing this as a sin that needs to be purged, Ruth enrolls Cameron at God’s Promise – a “Christian School and Centre for Healing” – where she can be “cured” of what Ruth is convinced is sinful desire. Sent away from the life she has always known, Cameron finds herself more confused than ever. How can the councilors expect to fix her when she knows that she was never broken?


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